• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

Robin Hobb: disconnecting from one thing to connect to another

Robin Hobb, who has a new collection coming out in April, has updated her blog on what happens when she disconnects from the Interwebs. Writers, take heed! Here’s the beginning of her post:

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted much since the middle of December. And if we are email correspondents, you may have not received replies to friendly notes and greetings you sent me over the holidays.

My deadline for my book was December 31, 2010. I was extremely confident and determined to be on time. I worked consistently on the book every day, and I should have been on time.

Well, I wasn’t. I turned the manuscript over to my agent yesterday, 13 days late. That is NOT a nice thing to do to publishers and editors. I am abashed.

But, prior to all that, in mid-December I realized that the only possible way to make my deadline was to eliminate distractions and write. Family Christmas, of course, does not fall on the distraction list, but random web activities do. So, for the most part, I disconnected from the Internet and wrote. And wrote and wrote.

Alleluia! What a wonderful experience! Suddenly my output increased. Scenes had more coherency, dialogue flowed as if people were actually talking to one another. I really felt like I was in that world, with those characters. That is what happens when I can write in 4 to 6 hour blocks of time, with no little ‘pings’ coming up on my screen. I’d removed myself to a place where my laptop could not reach the outside world at all, and even though I was writing on a cramped laptop keyboard, the words just kept coming. It took me back to the Megan Lindholm days when writing was something I did in the dark hours of the night, all alone in a very chilly little office with only the stereo softly playing in the background. I was mostly broke in a rundown old house in a very rural area. So I started hanging out with a couple of imaginary fellows. When I remember those days, it actually feels as if Fitz were standing over my shoulder commenting on every keystroke, and the Fool was perched up on top of the ancient Maytag washing machine mocking our efforts. (Oh. Not every writer has her office in the laundry room? Well, I did.) When I recall those days, I feel like I am looking at an old fashioned Christmas card. I would get up from my desk and pad quietly into the kitchen to brew a cup of tea in the dark. Then I would go back to where the desk lamp and the computer screen were the only illumination. There is a sentimental glow that surrounds that old beat-up army surplus desk, the Kaypro computer and the black cat sleeping beside it.

Read the rest of this post on Robin’s website. [and wouldn’t you love to have the Fool perched somewhere in your house – we would – not to mention Fitz standing behind us … ]

Robin’s new collection, The Inheritance, will be released in Australia and New Zealand in April this year.

Bingtown heiresses rub shoulders in this wonderful collection with vampires and alien musicians, tramps and feral cats.

In The Homecoming, Lady Carillion Carrock and a number of other Jamaillian nobles are sailing to the Cursed Shores. Their journey is not by choice: for plotting against the Satrap, their wealth has been confiscated and they have been exiled. Until now, Carillion has done nothing but lead a life of privilege. She believes they are bound for wondrous cities, cities where ancient kings and queens dusted their skin with gold and wore jewels above their eyes. But when she is marooned by the ship’s unscrupulous captain, she will soon discover the grim reality of what survival in the Rain Wilds entails.

The Silver Lady is a would-be writer, ekeing out a dull existence by working in a Sears store. The one day a man comes in: fortyish, pleasant-looking. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except he says his name is Merlin, and he’s about to change her life.

Rosemary got involved with the wrong man. Pell is lazy, good for nothing, a bully. Her best friend Hilia knew it and so did her tom cat, Marmalade. But love is blind: Rosemary had Pell’s baby, renovated the cottage his grandfather left in his will, turned its land to good use; and then he left her for another woman. Now he’s back, and something must be done …

 And that’s just a snippet of what to look forward to …

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One Response

  1. This is a very relevant topic for writers, and for anyone who has a home office and works to a deadline. There is a balance between ‘doing the work’ — writing that next sentence, one after the other, and stimulating the mind, connecting with readers and immersing in social media.

    Sometimes the internet is instant access to research (How many hands high is a Percheron Stallion? What’s a girl’s name that means ‘balance’ or what level of technology to you need to have reading glasses, are some I looked up today). I also love staying connected to other writers and my readers. Face it, writing is a pretty isolating occupation. And, I also love building web pages and putting ideas out into the world. But it can get distracting!

    Robin says . . .the temptation to dart out onto the Internet when the next sentence just won’t come is often overpowering for me. Writing anything, a blog, an email, a letter to the editor is always so much easier than finding the next sentence in the story.

    It is easier to write in other ways and sometimes, if I’m stuck in a scene that feels flat, connecting on Twitter or posting a note in FB or answering a reader’s question can really get me ‘out of my head’. I often come back to the story an hour later feeling clear, confident and ready to move the story forward.

    Still, when creating new work, distractions are not headed. I barely stop to eat. That’s when I go to yellow alert (radio silence) and give everything over to the creation. It’s a balancing act!

    I’m curious. How do other authors handle the distraction of the internet? Can you be lured in for a moment to comment? 🙂

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